Debating Gay Marriage...
As I sit outside in a parking lot I can't help but contemplate how same-gender unions, or Gay Marriage, as it is more commonly called, has become the topic of the week for me, in another one of those strange convergences that seem to be God's way of less than subtly nudging me down the right path. I have just left the last of the Episcopal Diocese’s "Listening Sessions on Same-gender Unions”, though I believe by not calling it what it is, namely Marriage, we cheapen it. Although I don't always feel it, I am often reminded how young I still am, the 2006 Marshall-Newman marriage amendment was the first taste of the larger GLBT rights battle, and my first taste of defeat.
This Sunday I will be debating this issue at VCU sitting right next to the author of that bill, Bob Marshall, but this night I was just to listen to 10 other people as they shared their beliefs about “same-gender unions”. One brave woman, who was still uncertain as to where the others stood on the issue, said she had been in a 12 year relationship, it reminded me that while this has been a week-long obsession for me, for many it has been day to day for years or even decades.
We had hoped that Victoria Cobb, founder of the Family Foundation in Virginia, would be my opponent at the debate, however last week she informed me that she definitely could not, I secretly hoped her refusal was because she knew how bigoted and hate based arguments would never hold up in a reasonable and open forum, but instead it was because she and her husband would be celebrating their tenth anniversary that weekend. It’s an ironic injustice that while she rightly places so much importance on her marriage , she continues to attempt to prevent others from making it to the altar.
There will be another person debating me this Sunday, as there is no shortage of people who share her view. I have spent the week preparing for the many arguments they will use against us, but the last serendipitous event this week was when a new friend reminded me what I think we too often forget. The “Listening Session” kept asking us about holy sexual relationships, and just the day before I would have been much more eager to deconstruct the relevance of Leviticus, the true message of Romans, or the misinterpretation of Sodom. Then there’s the old Adam and Eve, sans the Steve. But just Tuesday morning I was reminded that God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, and no animal could be his equal partner. Some on the more conservative side of this might not say ‘equal’, but subservient, putting that ‘obey’ back into our vows. But most of us in a slightly more feministic world would acknowledge that she too is created in God’s image, and is a human, an equal to Adam.
I believe God intentionally blessed me by making me gay and that there is no sin in whom I love or how–and I’ll be happy to give my hermeneutic on every instance in the Bible on Sunday – then I’m left with, God doesn’t want us to be alone. Just like Adam we are meant to find an equal partner to share our life with, it is right, it is holy, and it is God given.
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